“I’m sorry that I’m here again/I promise I’ll get help/It wasn’t my intention/I’m sorry to myself” – Demi Lovato “Sober”
These lyrics hit me hard. I promised myself I was going to be someone that was just in treatment once and not in again and again. That’s not a promise I can keep though. I’ve talked before about how I’ve gotten overconfident in recovery. I figured I’m 5 years out, I don’t need to be as careful. I get relaxed with self-care and checking in with myself. I stop working out and meal prepping because I don’t think I need to. Little slip ups go unnoticed. I don’t deal with things that have happened because I don’t realize they were a big deal. Then what happens is I relapse. Little slip ups turn into habits. I stop working out and depression comes back. I start feeling less in control of my life and in comes anxiety. Before I know it I’m all in.
A year ago I was in a job that I loved but was stressful. There were conflicts with toxic coworkers, long, inconsistent hours that led to a lack of sleep, making up for work from colleagues that didn’t get done. As a new supervisor, I was placed into a management role when our manager retired, but I wasn’t prepared for it. With classes on top of it, I wasn’t doing well. I started failing classes because I didn’t have time to keep up. Then I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in the classes I was in. Not knowing what I wanted to be doing while everyone else was graduating stressed me out. I was processing, or more accurately not, the “relationship” that had ended that was much more toxic than I realized at the time. So here I am in a job that makes me angry/stress cry (which doesn’t happen), classes I don’t like in a town all my friends were moving out of. It was a recipe for disaster. I had gained a little bit of weight from stress eating but like 5 pounds. Nothing major. The same 5 pounds everyone gains and loses time and time again. I was no different! I knew I had to quit my job because it was taking a toll on my mental health. I moved back in with my parents. I know that environment can be hard for me for a lot of reasons. My family is borderline hoarders which makes my anxiety a little crazy. There is a lot of passive aggression and conflicts that blow up. I ended up increasing my anxiety meds which didn’t really help.
It’s always interesting to me which form my eating disorder takes shape. If I’m anxious, it tends to be restriction. If I’m depressed, it tends to be binging/purging. While, yes, my anxiety was higher, the depression is what the main form of my imbalance was. I started binging. At first it was just occasionally. Maybe once a week or so, but then it became daily. I started a new job where food was always available and not always good for you but good for your taste buds! No matter how many meals I skipped or how many days I worked out (a normal amount), I couldn’t counteract the binges and I gained weight. Lots of weight. I’m the highest I’ve ever been, which only increased the depression. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you aren’t taking care of your body and aren’t fueling it with the proper foods in the right amounts. Then the binging/restricting wasn’t enough. I added in laxative and diet pills. Then I started self-harming and drinking.
I’ve always been pretty open about my eating disorder but have kept quieter about alcohol. I noticed before that I tend to have the same mentality and feeling towards alcohol that I do around food when I’m binging. I need it. I can’t stop. But no one can know. When I’m doing well in recovery, I’m really good at limiting myself to one drink on special occasions, but I never have more than one. I don’t want it to get out of hand. When I’m in a restricting phase, I don’t drink because I don’t want the calories. However, this time has been different. I started drinking maybe a drink or so a night. Which then turned into more. Then it was all I could think about during the day. I couldn’t wait to get home to drink and binge. Great life, right? People picked up on the fact I was drinking more, and I would get headaches in the mornings if I didn’t drink. It was hard to get to work on time hungover. Luckily, I was still technically on time. Just the later end of on time. It scared me how quickly it took shape. One day I was drinking occasionally and the next week I was 4 or 5 in a day.
Long story short, with everything going on and the speed at which the alcohol abuse was taking shape, I’ve decided to go back to treatment. Sometime in the next couple weeks I’ll be admitted and starting over again. I did decide that during that time I would take a social media and almost all technology hiatus. I will keep writing on here because it’s therapeutic, and I will continue to post these to Facebook, but that’s it. If you need to reach me, email me! 😊